[hand] [face]
The Original Deep Purple Web Pages
The Highway Star

Nine hectic days

Flying Colors 2 writing session, December 2013

Louder Sound has republished a contemporary feature on the first Flying Colors album, released in 2012. It originally appeared in the Prog magazine from the Classic Rock stable, and was based on the input from all five members of the band.

What’s gone almost unknown until now is that Kerry Livgren almost became a member of Flying Colors. Livgren and Morse [then Deep Purple’s guitarist] had worked together in Kansas during the 1980s.

“The album’s executive producer [Bill Evans] wanted to put me together with Kerry again in some sort of writing project with Neal Morse,” explains Steve. “Neal and I came up with some song ideas, but when Kerry had his stroke, he couldn’t travel and it kinda ruled him out.”

Nothing composed with Livgren made it onto the record. Morse continues: “So Bill suggested that we work with Mike and of course after that we brought in Dave, which gave us four members.” It was Mike Portnoy’s masterstroke of adding Casey McPherson’s voice that transformed the group entirely. “Let’s face it, we’re not underwear models,” Steve laughs, adding: “Casey made the project real. He gave it direction. Suddenly our songs had the potential to become pop songs.”

Following Transatlantic’s modus operandi, the participants were encouraged to bring only song ideas to the sessions. “Working things up in the studio is also how Deep Purple does it, but I’ve never made an album in nine days before,” Steve grins. “With a group of guys that are very vocal about what they want, it sometimes became pretty hectic.”

Read more in Louder Sound.

8 Comments to “Nine hectic days”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    Kerry Livgren’s stroke was a nasty one from what I remember reading about it at that time. He has recovered somewhat thankfully. In regards to him participating in the songwriting process, it is a shame that he couldn’t be involved. He hopefully would have sharpened up FC songs somewhat, not as commercials sounding & given them a proper progressive edge perhaps. I find their songs boring, a good band of musicians but the songs?????? Not to worry. Cheers.

  2. 2
    Gregster says:

    Good stuff !!!

    Peace !

  3. 3
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “I find their songs boring, a good band of musicians but the songs??????”

    Ich nicht. They are my no 1 favorite ‘new’ prog band. I love the pop quality of the songs and – unlike with ASIA which much as I like them could sometimes border on the bland – there is still enough prog nerdness in FC. New Age progressive, but progressive.

    My only concern if Kerry Livgren would have joined too would have been that with him and Neil their music would have then become so evangelical you could have only properly listened to it dressed in a lowing white gown at a River Jordan gathering waiting for your reborn baptism! 😈

    But then … any band that can play as lovingly and smart a Beach Boys homage as these guys must be in league with angels. 😇


    If that’s not a “song”, I don’t know what is.

  4. 4
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    When I first viewed Love Letter, I noticed one member not smiling towards the end of the video. Dum, dee dum dum…. :> I mentioned it to the chap sitting next to me at the gig of that tour. He said, “wow, I didn’t notice until now….”


  5. 5
    Max says:

    You did pay me back, Uwe! I used to see things like Mr. MacGregor when it came to Flying Colors. Looked at a couple of videos and gave up. Good musicians, good playing … the songs didn’t do anything for me. But this here …chapeau! I have to make up my mind. A tad. Or two.

  6. 6
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Now don’t get carried away, Max. I hate overt loss of self-control.. Ein bisschen Haltung bitte. 🧐

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    It’s an extremely well-crafted song. The nods to The Beatles and The Beach Boys, Steve’s Brian May impressions during the solo and lyrically a very adult way to deal with a relationship in crisis.

    There is something touchingly earnest and sincere about Casey McPherson as FC’s front man (even though Neil Morse is quite clearly the musical director), read his Wikipedia entry, he’s a deep man.


    I know, this is probably a harsh environment for alt-rock here, but give it a listen (your wives and girlfriends will no doubt like it, they’ll start to think you’re sensitive if you play it!), also reveals how great his influence on the FC sound is.



  8. 8
    Paulo Glover says:

    Is that a picture from 2012? Nice 😀 a Boss DS-1 on Steve’s board. I think it is his board, following the guitar cable. Maybe that’s just his gear for rehearsal.

Add a comment:

Preview no longer available -- once you press Post, that's it. All comments are subject to moderation policy.

||||Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing
© 1993-2024 The Highway Star and contributors
Posts, Calendar and Comments RSS feeds for The Highway Star